Letter from Zapallal: October 2015
September, the beginning of spring, is the Month of Youth here and normally we would have celebrations for the Day of Youth but this year, no. I’m not sure why but I think they want to connect it with the inauguration of inter-class sports in October. At least the weather has a feel of spring about it, though early mornings are usually damp and a bit chilly but late mornings and afternoons are sunny and warm. The mimosa has taken the hint and the school now has lots of patches of yellow. The bougainvillea is following suit. We do not have that glorious range of colour of the leaves in autumn so there is not a lot of change in our surroundings. I hope you are having a mellow autumn. 6th year primary have decorated a large, colourful banner to mark the beginning of spring.
When making a list of this month’s activities it dawned on me that not all that much has happened. At the moment we have two young Swiss volunteers who are sharing their speciality in pastry etc. with the cookery classes. The pupils seem to respond to the new approach, even though at times there can be a bit of a problem with the language.
The girls´ basketball team went to the national finals, hosted by our school in Lima. In the semi-final we were beaten by a team from Madre de Dios, who were, in my opinion, the better side. We finished in 4th place. There must be something in the jungle because at least five teams in the semi-finals were from jungle departments – Loreto and Madre de Dios. One of the boys’ teams looked particularly impressive. Our girls were obviously sad, with a few tears but perhaps they will come to appreciate what they really did achieve. (In the photo our girls are in red.)
There is a national project on the correct use and methods of saving water. It also embraces environment related issues e.g. animals at risk. We were the regional winners but we came 4th in the next stages. The team is made up from pupils in every year of secondary school. They have shown a lot of initiative and energy in arranging various exhibitions in school and over the last two Sundays put on inter-class football competitions - boys’ and girls’ – to get funds for their future plans.
The evenings after school are now echoing with various types of music as groups prepare their offerings for the anniversary celebrations next month. They celebrate the anniversary every year, which really goes along with wedding and birthday anniversaries. Next year with be a big celebration for the Silver Jubilee of the school. Plans are already afoot.
Over the past few weeks former pupils have been meeting to organise their annual inter-year football and volleyball competitions (though there was no competitions last year). There is plenty of enthusiasm but I think some of the early promociones are feeling their age when they come up against the more recent promociones. Despite the fierce rivalry during the matches, there is always a good atmosphere as former classmates renew acquaintances. The competitions will go on to the end of November.
The 5th year are being courted by various further education establishments, with the inevitable and similar freebies. In two of the forms during classes on what they call Persona here, individuals have been talking about what careers they hope to follow – what is involved, where it will lead, where it can be studied or practised. They usually dress according to what career they are talking about. Various types of engineering seem very popular, as do accountancy, architecture and psychology. Interesting that only one spoke about teaching and he was quite specific about teaching metalwork. I listen, I take photos and I hope they will realise their dreams as there is an awful lot of talent but the nagging thought is about how they will find the money to follow their dreams. Some will be lucky and get scholarships but still face the expenses of fares and materials. Thank you to those of you who have helped us in the past so we could give some support.
As I said above, I hope autumn will be a pleasant and peaceful time for you. October will be the month of Señor de los Milagros (Our Lord of Miracles). May there be many miracles in your lives.
P.S. The problem with the post is still with us and nothing seems to be getting through. I go the post office every week and and come away empty-handed. I apologise for the lack of communication.
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